Kathryn Schleich Announces the Release of Her Debut Crime Novel ‘Salvation Station’

Salvation Station, by Kathryn Schleich, was released in April 2020 published by She Writes Press.

“Salvation Station is your next must-read mystery. Kathryn Schleich perfectly blends together a taut tale of murder in the church. A devilishly good tale.” —CARA LOCKWOOD, USA Today best-selling author of I Do (But I Don’t)

“Salvation Station is an edge-of-your-seat, page-turning thriller that might possibly leave you unable to sleep. This book is what we need in the world right now—a killer we can hate and a model cop we can get behind, showing us that women are as fierce as men and then some.” —MARGO DILL, Managing Editor, WOW! Women On Writing


Synopsis:

When committed female police captain Linda Turner, haunted by the murders of two small children and their pastor father, becomes obsessed with solving the harrowing case, she finds herself wrapped up in a mission to expose a fraudulent religious organization and an unrepentant killer.

Despite her years of experience investigating homicides for the force, Captain Linda Turner is haunted by the murders of the Hansen family. The two small children, clothed in tattered Disney pajamas, were buried with their father, a pastor, in the flower garden behind a church parsonage in Lincoln, Nebraska. But Mrs. Hansen is nowhere to be found—and neither is the killer.

In St. Louis, the televangelist Ray Williams is about to lose his show—until one of his regular attendees approaches him with an idea that will help him save it. Despite his initial misgivings, Ray agrees to give it a try. He can’t deny his attraction to this woman, and besides, she’d assured him the plan is just—God gave her the instructions in a dream.

Multiple story lines entwine throughout this compelling mystery, delving into the topics of murder, religious faith, and the inherent dangers in blindly accepting faith as truth. While Reverend Williams is swept up in his newfound success and plans for his wedding, Captain Turner can only hope that she and her team will catch the Hansens’ cunning killer—before more bodies surface.


Excerpt:

Two of them were just babies. Captain Linda Turner had been a homicide detective for over ten years, but this crime scene was still a shock. Half a dozen murders are considered a bad year, she mused, striding toward the scene. Three bodies accidentally discovered through an innocent act: an inquisitive dog burrowing deep into the flower garden behind its new home and bringing its master a gruesome prize.

“Morning, Steve,” she said. The cop guarding the area raised the yellow plastic Police Line—Do Not Cross crime tape as she folded her body and slipped under. “I understand the owner’s dog found the bodies.”

“Good morning, Captain. Yes, ma’am, he recently moved to town, the pastor of University Disciples of Christ Church,” Steve offered.

“He made the 911 call.”

“What a welcome.”

This was all the information Captain Turner had on this breezy May morning. The smell of freshly turned soil and blooming flowers combined with a stench she knew all too well. Behind the neat limestone house, the flower garden was cordoned off, and evidence flags and numbered photo markers dotted the soil with yellow. A crime scene photographer had finished documenting the shock- ing scene, and the coroner was directing forensic experts gingerly extracting human remains from beneath the black earth. The bodies were wrapped individually in blankets, fragile from decomposition. The badly deteriorated remains were gently uncovered, revealing two young children dressed in tattered Disney pajamas. One body clad in pink Disney princesses and the other in Mickey Mouse gave Linda pause. The little girl and boy lay on blue plastic tarps spread over the grass, human jigsaw puzzles waiting to be solved. Linda couldn’t look any longer and turned away, her free hand covering her mouth, breathing through her nose to keep from gagging.

It had happened before, but the horror of murdered innocent children always had the same effect: Linda couldn’t stop until the depraved killer was found and convicted. She didn’t have any children of her own because she had invested 110 percent into her police career, but she was a favorite aunt. Linda envisioned the sweet faces of her nieces and nephews, all under the age of ten.

The back door swung shut with a loud bang, snapping Linda into the here and now. A familiar figure strode toward her. Tall and lean, Lieutenant Lyle Dale was a twenty-year veteran of the force. Dressed in a tailored dark suit and cowboy boots—always cowboy boots—he cut a striking figure. Linda met him halfway across the lush lawn.

“Morning, Lieutenant. Bring me up to speed,” she said gesturing toward the vigilant CSI team.

Lyle spoke matter-of-factly. “One adult male and two small children. CSIs are still looking for a fourth body, but no luck so far.”

“I assume that would be the mother?” Linda asked, watching the hive of activity.

“That’s our best guess. The children make this crime especially heinous.”

“Yes, they do,” Linda acknowledged sadly. She strolled back toward the partially excavated garden, shading her eyes from the rising spring sun. “Walk me through the discovery.”

Lt. Dale cleared his throat. “If it weren’t for the Reverend Martin’s very large and curious dog, Kris Kringle, the bodies might have gone undetected. According to the reverend, Kris is always dragging home road kill or what have you. This morning, Kris took to digging in the flower garden and brought his master a human leg.” Lyle turned toward the house. “Rev. Martin followed his dog out here,” he added, tracing the pastor’s path in one motion ending at the garden, “where he discovered additional human remains. At which point, he called 911.”

A strand had come loose from the ponytail securing her blonde hair, and Linda casually brushed it aside. “Any idea yet who they might be?”

“That’s where it gets intriguing,” Lyle replied. “Rev. Martin moved into the parsonage about eight weeks ago, replacing the former pastor named Gregory Hansen, who’d left to pursue missionary work in Africa. Rev. Hansen was married and had two young children. After the Hansen family moved, the national missionary office for the Disciples of Christ contacted the church concerned that the Hansens had never arrived.”

Linda glanced toward the corpses and the growing mounds of dirt from the excavated garden. “Three bodies. What are the chances that the Hansen family never left town?”

Lyle nodded, his face grim. “That’s my thought—that these are Rev. Hansen and his children. But we’ll need autopsies to confirm that.”

The sour feeling in Linda’s stomach made her think Lyle was right, but she had another question. “Did the church contact us or file a missing person’s report?”

“The church secretary confirmed a missing person’s report was filed when the national Disciples office called to say the Hansens weren’t in Cleveland,” Lyle answered, following her gaze.

Linda kept focusing on those tiny pajama-clad bodies. “Start interviewing persons of interest—”

“I’ve already got staff ready for interviews,” Lyle interrupted. “Rev. Martin is very willing to cooperate and has agreed to let police search the house and take prints. Then there’s the church secretary, Darlene Jordan, who specifically asked to speak with the person in charge.”

Linda removed a small pad of paper and pen from her jacket pocket, scribbling notes. “I’ll talk with the church secretary. Once we’ve secured the house, you and Amy start canvassing neighbors and church members.”

“Right. One other thing: both Amy and I detected the odor of bleach throughout the house, as though someone was cleaning up after themselves.”

“Captain Turner? Ma’am, there’s a reporter from the Journal Star asking to speak with you.” It was Steve, the strapping, young, uni- formed officer assigned to keep bystanders away from the scene.

“I need to give the press a preliminary statement,” Linda acknowledged. “We haven’t seen a case involving the murder of children in quite a while, so it’ll merit extra attention. I’ll see you back at the station.” Linda strode toward the quickly forming gaggle of reporters with Steve at her heels.

Cases like this were one reason Linda Turner loved her job. Her dedication and tenaciousness had assured her promotion as the youngest person to attain the rank of captain in the LPD. Sifting through the clues of a tangled mystery, discovering which pieces fit and which led to a dead end, then assembling that evidence into a case to catch the perpetrators and bring them to justice were what had made law enforcement so enticing.

But there was an unhappy downside to her meteoric rise. No longer was there anyone to come home to and share a lifetime with.

To preserve her sanity, Linda made the choice to delve deep into her career, personal needs be damned. This case was already tugging at her emotions. Those children’s bodies haunted her. Who would savagely murder their own flesh and blood and bury the evidence in a flower garden? Why? And most troubling, where was the mother? Linda made a silent vow to find out. No matter what.


About the Author:

Kathryn Schleich has been a writer for thirty years. Her most recent publications include the short story “Reckless Acts,” featured in After Effects: A Zimbell House Anthology, and her story “Grand Slam,” published in The Acentos Review in May 2017. She is the author of two editions of the book Hollywood and Catholic Women: Virgins, Whores, Mothers, and Other Images, which evolved from her master’s thesis. Her guest posts have been featured on the Women On Writing blog, The Muffin, and she writes for the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation’s volunteer newsletter. When she’s not writing, Schleich is likely volunteering in the education and arts communities in the Twin Cities, where she lives. Friends, family, good food, wine, and traveling are important aspects of her life. Salvation Station is her first novel.

Readers can connect with Kathryn on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to https://www.kathrynschleich.com/

Parenting Through the Eyes of Lollipops

Do you wish that you could enjoy parenthood more? Have you ever wondered what deeper meaning there is to being a Mom or Dad?
In Parenting Through the Eyes of Lollipops Jacqueline Pirtle, a mom herself, carries you through the experience of parenthood by making spiritual and energetic sense of real physical-life parenting scenarios—while, as her highest priority, keeping children’s perspectives in mind.
This book opens new doors for you to dive into parenthood with fresh zest, plenty of fun, and infinite love for yourself and for your children by teaching you these 3 important pillars to better parenting:
-The Harmonious Dance
-It Is Never The Child
-The Love Cycle of Parenthood
This profound parent-life wisdom can be utilized immediately, so you too can experience a spectacular time with your children, including teenagers, ASAP.
No matter if you are a parent, grandparent, aunt and uncle, or just a lover of life, Parenting Through the Eyes of Lollipops will inspire you to dig deeper into the enjoyment of being alive and being a Mother or Father.
Get ready, this book will leave you with a sweet tooth that is endlessly craving well-feeling parenting and life moments every day!

Excerpt:
An important first step for a parent is to relax and know that you really are wonderful just by being here and by being present— ready for your new life as a parent or ready to shift into a new way as a parent. You ARE magnificent!
I invite you to say, think, and feel the following words often:
“I AM a phenomenally powerful parent with a deep inner guidance and an infinite capability to love!”
Really breathe into these words, and feel your shift to being and living in a frequency of peaceful-ness, openness, pure-ness, right-ness, and good-ness—your heart space and your soul being.
Acknowledge that you are NOT here to impress anyone, anything, or life itself––especially not your children. You are here to simply BE; nothing else. Feel the release of all resistance and the pressure-free space that you create for yourself by acknowledging this.
So what does to BE or not to BE really mean?
Do you think to BE means you have to have hard times and BE miserable? I surely hope not, because to BE clearly means to feel well, to be happy, to enjoy, and to feel excited about your existence and expansion. Just think about how well you feel by reading the first few paragraphs about your magnificence, and how wonderful it feels to acknowledge that all you have to do is BE your soul being which is pure positive energy.
Now shift your focus to your children. Let them – born or unborn – know that they too are wonderful and magnificent just as they ARE. Fill them in, that coming into this physical life means they are here to BE themselves—nothing else. Let your child know of this magic and well-feeling through loving and uplifting words, thoughts – every thought is energy that is shared – actions, happenings, and, for older children, through explanation and education.
Make well-feeling a priority for you because it spreads to your children, filling every single cell of their whole being – body, mind, soul, consciousness – with goodness, and it returns that high-for-life energy to you like a boomerang.
Think about the incredible power that is used to lift a sinking ship to be afloat again—you feeling wonderful is that power that can lift any child to be emotionally afloat again.
Feeling wonderful IS powerful!

About the Author:
Jacqueline Pirtle is a holistic practitioner, a healing arts teacher and mentor, and the bestselling author of 365 Days of Happiness.
Her passion for mindful happiness shines through in all of her work and life – helping parents to parent harmoniously and clients to shift into a “high-for-life” frequency.
Jacqueline has been featured in Authority Magazine, Thrive Global, BuzzFeed, Elephant Journal, Bustle, NBC News-Better and has appeared on Women Inspired TV, The Sunday School Radio Show, WoMRadio, and more. Her article “Are You Happy?” is in print in The Edge Magazine.
Jacqueline was born in Switzerland and has lived all over the world. She now makes her home in the United States with her wonderful husband, amazing kids, and sweet cats, and can often be found having a little chat with a falling leaf, or indulging in a cupcake at her favorite bakery.
Her professional background is in holistic wellness and natural living. She holds various international wellness degrees, and is an international certified Reiki Master.
Her latest book Parenting Through the Eyes of Lollipops was released in September 2019 and is available for sale on Amazon. Readers can connect with Jacqueline on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to http://www.freakyhealer.com

Eating for Pregnancy: Your Essential Month-by-Month Nutrition Guide and Cookbook

The 3rd edition of ‘Eating for Pregnancy: Your Essential Month-by-Month Nutrition Guide and Cookbook’ by Catherine Jones (Author), Rose Ann Hudson (Author), and Teresa Knight (Contributor) was released in July 2019, published by Hachette Book Group (Da Capo Lifelong Books).

Written by specialists in perinatal nutrition, OB/GYN, and high-risk pregnancies, EATING FOR PREGNANCY is the ultimate no-nonsense nutrition guide and cookbook for moms-to-be.

Every pregnant woman understands that what she eats and drinks affects the baby growing within her, but many don’t have the time or energy to ensure they’re always eating right. EATING FOR PREGNANCY walks readers through pregnancy month-by-month to cover developmental highlights, body changes, and nutritional needs of the mother and baby. Each chapter shares delicious, healthful recipes that put a special emphasis on the nutrients that mother and baby need that month, during preconception, the nine months of pregnancy, and the postpartum period. Each of the 150 recipes highlights optimal nutrients for mom and her growing baby, and provides handy nutritional breakdowns and complete meal ideas.

This new edition has been completely revised and updated with:

–  25 brand-new recipes and updated classics, with more quick and easy dishes, more vegan and vegetarian recipes and variations, and more gluten-free and dairy-free options

–  The most up-to-date research-based information on daily intakes, supplements, nutrient sources, environmental concerns, common annoyances, exercise, and high-risk pregnancies

–  Guidance for mothers with diabetes or gestational diabetes, including low-carb meal plans, recipe variations, and weekly menus.

Additionally, EATING FOR PREGNANCY is the only pregnancy nutrition-cookbook with substantive advice and recipes for women with diabetes. Gestational diabetes is one of the most common complications of pregnancy with rates increasing every year. It is the only high-risk condition that requires a special meal plan and lifestyle. EATING FOR PREGNANCY caters to moms who develop diabetes during pregnancy and those who enter pregnancy with preexisting diabetes. It also covers the fourth trimester offering moms supportive advice with postpartum depression, breastfeeding and weight loss.

“The perfect nutritional guide to pregnancy. Nothing is left out. You’ll know exactly what to eat every month and how to cook it!” ~Sheri L. Hammersley, MD, FACOG, Board Certified Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Associates of Maryland

“While the work’s tone is authoritative, it is also caring and informal, like a warm conversation with a knowledgeable friend. A comprehensive manual for healthy eating that could become a pregnant woman’s most helpful resource.” -Kirkus Reviews

“a completely revised and updated book that includes everything you will need (and more) to know before, during, and after the birth of your child. There is a bounty of information for women in all of the stages of the pregnancy process… this is the ultimate pregnancy book.” – San Francisco Book Review


About the Authors:

Catherine Jones is an award-winning author of four nutrition-cookbooks. She is celebrating the release of the third edition of Eating for Pregnancy: Your Essential Month-by-Month Nutrition Guide and Cookbook (Hachette Book Group, 2019). Eating for Pregnancy has been a bestselling book for 16 years and the winner of the coveted Mom’s Gold Choice Award. 

Rose Ann Hudson, RD, LD, is a perinatal nutritionist and registered dietitian. She counsels both high-risk patients and those with healthy pregnancies. 

The late Teresa Knight, MD, was a board-certified OB/GYN and the CEO of Women’s Health Specialists Wellness Center in Saint Louis, Missouri. Dr. Knight passed away in 2018, just before the book was published.


Eating for Pregnancy is available for sale on Amazon. Readers can connect with the authors on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to http://www.catherinejonescookbooks.com/

For further information, to request a review copy, or to schedule an interview with the authors, please contact Kelsey Butts at Book Publicity Services at (805) 807-9027 or Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com

Who’s Got Your Back: Making and Keeping Great Friendships Among Men

Crosslink Publishing announced today the upcoming publication of a new Men’s Christian Lifestyle book for September 2019, Who’s Got Your Back? Making and Keeping Great Friendships Among Men by David W. Smith.
“David Smith has written a very enjoyable and practical book, Who’s Got your Back? that is full of memorable stories about what’s needed in this day and age to form genuine friendships.”—Darrel Billups, Th.D., emeritus executive director, National Coalition Ministries to Men (NCMM)

Synopsis:
When asked ‘Who’s got your back?’ most men will simply answer, “no one.”
“Men don’t have friends in the same sense that women do. But it doesn’t have to be that way,” says Author David W. Smith.
Who’s Got Your Back? will motivate men to build satisfying relationships which will be there during the ups and downs of life.
“David shows us how we can be strong, task-oriented, and achieving but also warm-hearted and unmistakably relationship-driven in the rough and tumble of everyday life.” —David Riemenschneider, Th.D., founder and lead pastor, Bloomingdale Church, Bloomingdale, Illinois
“This good book brings into sharp focus a genuine and functional and real-life definition of manliness. Dr David Smith has skillfully woven stories with practical application strategies for building more satisfying friendships.” —Gary Smit, Ed.D., dean of faculty, Josephson Institute of Ethics
Who’s Got Your Back? provides a clarion call for men to be the kind of men modeled for us by Jesus.

Excerpt from Who’s Got Your Back:
Introduction
One of the greatest indicators of our emotional and spiritual health is how well we’re connected with others. Who has your back? Who can count on you? We fall short, rarely because of a lack of some knowledge or ability. We often fail in our personal and work experiences because of our inability to connect well with others. No one plans to lead a mediocre life; it just happens. We’re more likely to form alliances than we are friendships. We don’t seem to mean much to each other anymore. It doesn’t have to be that way.
This book is about a real-life positive and practical journey to form enjoyable and genuine and spiritual relationships in every area of life. It’s no surprise that those who have your back will usually be the same individuals who know they can count on you in the good times and in times of trouble. It may seem counterintuitive, but giving to others is often more satisfying than receiving from others.
It’s the individuals we’re close to who make life worth living.
I’m curious about and committed to learning more about friendships. I wonder about questions like these: What kind of friends do you have? Are they work friends, sports friends, or neighborhood friends? How about friendships at church? Recent Pew Research reveals that only about one in five men attends religious services weekly. Whom would you turn to if your whole world caved in? Whom would you trust enough to share your intimate thoughts, fears, and frustrations? Who in your life would drop everything to help you during a difficult time?
How many friends do people have? What’s your definition of friendship? Does the Bible offer practical advice for creating friendships? How do friends think and behave? Why do women typically have more friends than men? Why are friendships with the opposite sex so rare? How does age and marital status affect friendships? Why do some friendships fall apart? What’s involved in making and keeping satisfying and worthwhile relationships?
To learn more about close friendships, I read as many of the secular and faith-based publications I could find. This was useful, but what was also very helpful for real life was when I conducted my own interviews, usually with strangers. While I interviewed friends and neighbors and guys at work, most of the slightly more than four hundred conversations I had were with strangers who were willing to talk with me in a neutral setting, often at a shopping center. Strangers were usually very honest, I found. They had no image or reputation to protect since they’d likely never see me again. What they told me was often surprising and I believe important. I continue to ask the opinions of others at conferences and retreats when I’m invited to give presentations. I’ve shared much in the following chapters from what I learned from many candid conversations and from my own life experiences. I’m therefore less formal; I’ve decided to make this book more like a conversation with less attention devoted to a formal bibliography and cited notes.

About the Author:
David is a former public -school superintendent and high school and college teacher and is now a conference speaker for business and faith based events. He earned an interdisciplinary social studies and social policy PhD from Northwestern University. David and his wife, Sue Ann, live in suburban Chicago. Readers can connect with David on Twitter and Goodreads. To learn more, go to http://formingconnections.com/

Love Lock: Creating Lasting Connections With the One You Love

Love Lock: Creating Lasting Connections With the One You Love by Rich Rollins and Marty Trammell is a new Christian / Marriage & Relationships book. It was released in June 2019, published by Crosslink Publishing.

Synopsis:
In our socially networked but disconnected age, we find ourselves longing for deeper, more intimate connection.
Love Lock, Creating Lasting Connections with the One You Love is the perfect read for couples who want to have the closeness back.
We were created for connection, yet many marriages are coming apart as couples “unfriend” each other long before the feelings fade.
Love Lock couples are looking for ways to connect beyond what they allow people to see on social media. They care about friendship over filters, love over “likes.”
With Love Lock, reading the relatable stories and using the easy and engaging exercises, couples can discover or rediscover the intimate connection God intended.

“Rich Rollins and Marty Trammell have done it again! Writing in the same practical and thoroughly biblical style of Redeeming Relationships, they offer a roadmap for young couples just falling in love, hope for couples experiencing fractured relationships, and confidence for couples like Debbie and me (coming up on our 44th anniversary) who are in the latter portion of their married life. Couples who answer the questions together and engage in the activities at the end of each chapter are sure to find immediate benefits.” William J. Katip, Ph.D. President Grace College and Seminary
“. . . . among other things, Drs. Rich Rollins and Marty Trammell have managed to tackle the often terminal role that personal expectations play regarding spousal and marital ideals. And by reminding us to neither “major on the minors,” nor “minor on the majors,” they have encouraged that sacrifice in a Christ-centered marriage is never out of fashion. Finally, the Love Lock exercises at each chapter’s conclusion provide practical opportunities to reinforce learning in promoting weight-bearing tracks to run on. This is definitely a worthwhile resource!” Keith M. Douds, Psy.D. Licensed Psychologist Clinic Director

Excerpt from Love Lock:
Listening Your Way to Love
Research has shown that 90 percent of our struggles in marriage would be resolved if we did nothing more than see that problem from our partner’s perspective.—Les and Leslie Parrot
Ask any group of people—friends, coworkers—“When do you feel loved?” and the answer will likely include something about listening. When people listen, we feel worthwhile—we feel valued. Listening is hard when trying to start a love relationship, because we’d rather try to impress. Yet listening is one of the strongest ways to say, “I love you.”
Jesus’s example in this startles us. Why the God-man with all the answers would wait to hear our questions is provocative. But that’s just what Jesus did with the woman at the well. Though He knows immediately the answer to her need, He asks a question, listens, and waits for her response (see John 4). Why? Perhaps it is because, in knowing all things, He understands that His listening heart will be partly responsible for her healing.
A popular story tells of a little girl and a single mom who enter a toy store to buy a doll. As the little girl moves down the aisle, she asks her mother what each of the dolls can do. Some of the more expensive dolls walk, others talk, some sing or eat.
Finally, the little girl picks up a doll the young mother can afford. But, when the little girl asks what the doll can do, the mother notices there is no description on the box. Then an idea comes to her. She whispers to her daughter, “Honey, this doll listens.”
Although the little girl knew nothing about the costs of the other dolls, she chose the one that listened. This quaint story speaks to the child who lives in each of us. Why? Because, when we can, we still choose people who listen.
An E.A.R. for Marriage
In the middle of every loving heart is a listening E.A.R.
Most of us have seen “lonely people” on talk shows, in the malls, and in the cubicles where we work. Out of sight and out of touch, these individuals long for someone who can hear their hearts. Like the girl in the doll aisle, they are waiting for a box that reads, “This one listens.” They want a marriage partner who is, to borrow the common expression, “all ears.” Every marriage can benefit from improved listening skills. The following acrostic can help us remember that in the middle of every loving heart is a listening ear.
E—Enter their worlds
In his book Caring Enough to Hear and Be Heard, David Augsburger explains that, for effective listening to take place, we need to learn how to enter another person’s world. Entering our partner’s world will remove some of the communication barriers and help create an atmosphere where love can breathe. Sometimes entering our spouse’s world means building bridges by attending an event with them, reading a book together, or asking open-ended questions. When our spouse knows that her world is becoming more important to us, she feels our love more deeply. When we work through conflict this is especially important. Understanding our partner’s perspective can make it easier to find bridges we can cross together on the journey toward reconciliation.
A—Attend to the meaning behind their words
“You didn’t listen to a thing I said!”
How many times do words like these crush a conversation? It’s like we’re giving an important recital of our thoughts and no one is in attendance. It’s important to attend our partner’s conversations. It’s important to be there. When we aren’t attending to the meaning behind our spouse’s words, the conversation can seem like a kind of verbal air hockey—our words fly back and forth but seldom touch even the surface of our thoughts and feelings.
Solomon demonstrates this wisdom when he attends to the meaning behind his young bride’s words: “Tell me, you whom I love, where you graze your flock and where you rest your sheep at midday. Why should I be like a veiled woman beside the flocks of your friends?” (Song of Songs 1:7). She seems to reprimand Solomon for making her chase after him like an im- moral (“veiled”) woman, because he failed to let her know where he was at “midday.” The chorus, the “friends,” answer her ques- tion “where?” by providing directions—“by the tents of the shep- herds.” Their response might represent the typical husband who responds to words instead of meanings. Earlier, she advises, “Do not stare at me because I am dark, because I am darkened by the sun . . . my own vineyard [her body] I have neglected” (Song of Songs 1:6). Solomon remembers her words. His wisdom recog- nizes that a woman’s feelings about herself sometimes fashion her sentences. To love her, he compliments her beauty (v. 9) and makes a commitment to take time out of his schedule to make her “earrings of gold, studded with silver” (v. 11). He responds to her reprimand, not by defending himself or simply answering her question, but by attending to the meaning behind her words.
My wife, Linda, and I (Marty) have learned that our meanings are different. When I say, “I’m okay,” I mean it’s a good day. When she says, “I’m okay,” it means she wants to talk about something that’s troubling her. “Okay” can mean different things. It’s important to discover the meanings behind our spouse’s words.
R—Respond according to their needs
A youth director once told his youth group about the first time he kissed his fiancée. They were sitting beside a quiet stream when he asked, “Honey, can I kiss you?” She was silent. Although he considered the possibility that she didn’t want to be kissed, he chose to believe she didn’t hear him and asked again, “Can I kiss you?” She didn’t respond. Frustrated and wondering if he had already ruined his opportunity, he persisted, increasing his volume, “Honey, can I kiss you?”
She was silent.
“Are you deaf?” he pleaded.
“Are you paralyzed?” she laughed.
The point is she wanted him to respond, appropriately, to the situation.
After we’ve entered our spouse’s world and paid attention to the meaning behind his or her words, we can respond in a way that communicates, “I love you.”
To encourage healthy conversation in the church, Paul wrote that we should build others up “according to their needs” (Ephesians 4:29). Entering each other’s worlds helps us discover the other’s “needs.” Although Paul is specifically focusing on relationships within the body of Christ, his principle is especially relevant to marriage. In a romantic sense, when we fail to travel beyond our own worlds, we fail to understand and meet our spouse’s needs, and we trade away the stars.
This is the model Jesus used when he entered our world, attended to the meaning behind our words, and responded in a breathtaking way to our needs. When we become all EARs, we can effectively love in a way our partner can hear. Every marriage can become more meaningful when we learn to listen our way to love.

About the Authors:
Rich Rollins, D.Min.
Co-author of Redeeming Relationships and Spiritual Fitness, served as Executive Pastor at Valley Bible Church for over two decades, has appeared on Family Life Today with Dennis Rainey and served as a healthcare professional, college Vice-President and church consultant. For more than forty years, Rich’s work on relational conflict and spiritual growth has made him a sought-after counselor and conference speaker. Rich has also served as director and announcer for Truth for Today, a radio program featuring Valley Bible Church. He has written articles for Focus on the Family’s online magazine. Dr. Rollins has also been the key note speaker at over twenty Family and Marriage conferences.
Rich and his wife, LouAnna, live in Southern California. They have been married for over fifty-four years. They have two daughters and sons-in-law, three grand-children, and two foster daughters.
Marty Trammell, Ph.D.
Marty Trammell, Ph.D., is the author of Communication Matters and co-author of Redeeming Relationships and Spiritual Fitness. He serves as Worship and Family Pastor at Valley Baptist and as a professor of Communication at Corban University where students call him “Dr. Love.” With his wife and best friend, Linda, Marty has ministered for over 30 years to hundreds of couples in conferences, retreats and pre-marital counseling sessions. He has written for Zondervan, Tyndale, Moody and others and writes regularly for redeemingrelationships.com and startmarriageright.com. Marty and Linda have three sons and two daughters-in-law who encourage their pursuit of the Father and help them enjoy sports, camping and family road trips.

The Paradox of Perfection: How Embracing Our Imperfection Perfects Us

The Paradox of Perfection: How Embracing Our Imperfection Perfects Us is a new Christian Lifestyle book. It was released in June 2019, published by Crosslink Publishing.
“The Paradox of Perfection, by Reber and Moody, is an important book. As a pastor of a local church, I have seen firsthand what it does to people’s souls when they try to attain the unattainable ideal of perfection. People in pursuit of this goal either end up becoming Pharisees or failures. The good news is that our failures can lead us to grace and the love of Christ. The authors do a great job of pointing us in this life-giving direction.” Scott McKinney, Pastor at CenterPoint Church
“This book is a vital antidote to the poison that infiltrates many religious people―perfectionism. I hadn’t even realized I’d ingested this poison until I read this wonderful book! It draws you in immediately with its charming yet profound insights. Reber and Moody have clearly penned a gem.” —Brent Slife, Clinical Psychologist and Professor Emeritus

Synopsis:
Americans are wealthier, smarter, and more beautiful than ever before, but we are also more depressed, anxious, and lonely. How can this be? The answer for many of us is perfectionism. Perfectionists pursue flawlessness and often reach great heights as a result, but we ultimately fall frustratingly short of our ideal. Christian perfectionists turn frustration into despair, because Christ commands us to “be ye therefore perfect, even as your father which is in heaven is perfect.” This seemingly impossible demand promotes feelings of guilt, unworthiness, and discouragement. Why would God put us in such a hopeless position?
The short answer is, He didn’t. In The Paradox of Perfection you will discover that the perfection Christ commands of us is actually possible here and now in this life, but to achieve it we must learn a new, properly Christian language of perfection. Relational experts, Dr. Jeffrey Reber and Steven Moody, will teach you this language and help you learn that the perfection Christ commands of you is not individual flawlessness, but a form of relationship with Him that depends precisely upon your weaknesses and imperfections, which enable Christ’s perfect love within you, your marriage, your family, and your church.

Excerpt from The Paradox of Perfection:
Toward a More Perfect Marital Union
You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly. —Sam Keen
Kathy’s Story
One evening when I returned home from shopping, my husband, Larry, met me at the door, grinning. What’s he up to? I wondered. He led me into the kitchen and announced, “I did the dishes for you!” As I hugged him and exclaimed, “Thank you!” I looked over his shoulder and noticed crumbs and drops of liquid on the counter. But you haven’t wiped the counter, I thought. You haven’t finished the dishes! Before I could chastise him, I remembered how my struggles with perfection- ism and impatience robbed me of enjoying and appreciating my wonderful husband. I thanked him again, determined not to allow his “mistakes” to bother me. The next evening Larry did the dishes again. I realized he wouldn’t have washed them a second time if I’d criticized him the day before. I witnessed again the power of affirming his attempts—even if they didn’t meet my expectations.
Someone once said that a perfectionist is a person who takes great pains and passes them on to others. I would have given my husband a great pain that evening if I’d discounted his effort. Yet that’s exactly what perfectionism does: It brings pain and destruction to our lives and marriages. Throughout the first seven years of our marriage, I struggled with perfectionist tendencies. Nothing Larry did was good enough. He wasn’t a good enough provider—even though he worked two jobs to support our family while I stayed home with the kids. He didn’t talk enough to me; he didn’t help properly with the housework; he wasn’t as concerned about my desires and expectations as I was. The list went on and on. My standards were set so high that Larry couldn’t win—ever. Since Larry didn’t meet all my needs, I believed I couldn’t give him credit when he showed me love. Instead I focused on his inadequacies. No matter how Larry tried to please me, I found fault and pointed out his shortcomings to “motivate” him. I “punished” him with my displeasure by withholding sex, affection, joy”1 (Miller, 2008).
This excerpt from Kathy’s story poignantly demonstrates what happens in a marriage when the language of perfectionism is the only language spouses know. As you can see in the first paragraph, even though Kathy learned some coping strategies, her perfectionism remained front and center in her mind and heart. She still noticed the crumbs and drops of liquid on the counter, and she continued to evaluate those things as flaws in her husband that demonstrated his inadequacy in completing the task. She coped with this by determining within herself not to be bothered by these mistakes, and she made sure to catch herself before chastising him. However, at this point in her story, she remains a perfectionist, albeit a less outspoken one.
Fortunately, Kathy’s story does not end there. After seven years of living perfectionistically, falling out of love with her husband because he failed to meet her high expectations, and then trying to cope with all of that by holding her tongue, Kathy was exposed to an alternative language of perfection, a properly Christian language of perfection. Kathy writes, “One day, during my devotions, God opened my eyes to what I was doing.” Kathy, who, like all of us, was incapable of finding a way out of the vise grip of perfectionism by her own efforts, was shown the more perfect way. And what is the more perfect way that she was shown? Kathy answers that question through an experience. She reports that one day while cleaning the house:
I sensed God say, “Tell Larry you love him.” I was shocked. No! I thought. I don’t love Larry. My unmet expectations had squelched my love—because love and a perfectionist attitude can’t really coexist. Besides, I thought, I haven’t said those words to him in more than two years. If I say them now, he might think I approve of his negligence toward me and the kids. In my perfectionistic thinking, since I didn’t feel love for Larry all the time, I couldn’t say I loved him. Finally, I felt God whisper, “Think it the next time you see Larry.” That’s strange, I thought. But if he doesn’t hear me, then he can’t use it against me. All right, Lord, I’ll do it, even if it isn’t true.
That evening when Larry returned, I stared at him, gulped, and thought, I love you…but I don’t really. Even though I obeyed God begrudgingly, an amazing thing happened. Over the following months, as I continued to think the words I love you whenever I looked at Larry, I began to feel love for him. I also recognized that I’d been holding Larry responsible for my happiness. As I received grace for myself and then offered it to Larry, my “all or nothing” thinking changed. I accepted the truth that Larry couldn’t meet all my needs—only God could. In time, Larry noticed that I wasn’t as angry and demanding. And our marriage became more comfort- able and enjoyable for both of us.
God exposed Kathy to the language of His perfect love. At first, she resisted this alternative and only practiced it begrudgingly. The language was so foreign, so unfamiliar. It just did not ring true. However, as she practiced speaking it, even if only in her mind, her heart changed. She allowed God’s love in, and through the grace of His love, her love for her husband grew and their marriage improved. It was not easy. It did not happen over- night. Surely, she still falls back into her primary language of perfectionism all the time. But now she knows there is another way to be perfect, another language she can speak, and she knows it is the Lord’s way because it came directly from Him.

About the Authors:
Jeff Reber and Steve Moody are educators and therapists who specialize in relational approaches to issues at the intersection of faith and psychology. They have given presentations on perfectionism to audiences across the continent and have published scholarly articles, book chapters, and books on this and other important societal epidemics. Their latest book The Paradox of Perfection is available for pre-sale on Amazon. Readers can connect with the authors on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to https://paradoxofperfectionbook.com

Jake’s Redemption: The Angel Eyes Series Prequel by Jamie Schulz

Where Cowboys meet Dystopian. A Suspenseful Romance and a Twist!
Jake’s Redemption is the first book in the Angel Eyes cowboy dystopian romance series. If you like scorching-hot chemistry, clever post-apocalyptic worlds, and star-crossed love stories, then you’ll adore Jamie Schulz’s captivating tale. Genre: Romance, Cowboy/Western, Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic/Sci-fi, Suspense

Synopsis:
An imprisoned cowboy. An empowered woman. When true love is forbidden, opening their hearts could destroy them both…
Chained and enslaved, Jake Nichols is convinced he’ll die alone. In this new order where men are stripped of all power, he endures brutal torture at the hands of his female captor. But when he’s hired out to build a ranch home for an outspoken beauty, his dreams of escape transform into visions of passion.
Monica Avery struggles to fill her heart in a loveless society. With marriage outlawed and romantic partners reduced to pawns, she’s given up hope of finding her soul mate. But watching the rugged rancher hard at work on her shelter awakens her deeply buried desires.
As the project comes together, Monica discovers a kindred spirit in the tenderhearted Jake. But despite their growing attraction, he still belongs to a cruel woman who’d rather see him dead than free.
Can Monica save Jake, or will their love lead to a tragic tomorrow?

Excerpt from Chapter 1: 
JAKE NICHOLS knelt in defeat on the cold ground of the mountain meadow, directly beside his best friend, Bret Masters. Defenseless, with their fingers laced together behind their heads, their eyes scanned the surroundings for any escape from the Raiders who had attacked their camp in the early morning hours.
Both men scowled up at their captor, a woman Bret had foolishly—and against Jake’s repeated warnings—loved to distraction. Jake risked a quick glance at his friend, knowing the pain Bret must be suffering in the wake of her betrayal. He felt the bite of it too, only for a different reason. Bret was family, and what hurt him, hurt Jake. His protective nature made him long to shield Bret from the misery this woman inflicted.
“I don’t care for you,” Amy had said only moments ago, indifferent to the devastation Jake saw in every line of Bret’s granite-hard face. What made her confession even worse was the bit she added about only wanting to use his body.
“You do have such a pretty face, but no brains in your head,” she went on, and then laughed at Bret’s seething look. His expression made Jake ache for his friend, and he silently hoped she had nothing more to torment him with. But Amy wasn’t done with Bret yet.
“How could you think any self-respecting woman would want you for anything more than your gorgeous face and hard body?” she asked, not waiting for a reply. “A decent woman would never accept you as an equal. Any woman who would is worse than the slave you will shortly become.”
A deep growl rumbled up from Bret’s chest, and to Jake’s surprise, Bret lunged to his feet and attacked her. Seeing an opportunity, Jake and all the other prisoners immediately joined him in a last, desperate attempt to gain their freedom. Their female adversaries, however, had a new genetic advantage. It may have taken a few seconds for the hysterical-strength to kick in, but once it did, the fight, strength-wise, was no longer in the men’s favor.
The skirmish didn’t last long, but in a brief moment before it ended, Jake turned to see Amy about to drive a long-bladed knife into his best friend’s back. Jake didn’t think, he moved, tackling Amy as her weapon plunged downward from its high arch. Amy tried to wiggle away from him, but he held on, desperate to keep her from harming Bret.
“Run!” He heard Bret’s frantic shout. “Run!” The sound of pounding feet and continued battle assaulted Jake’s ears. He tried to roll away from Amy, but now she held on to him. On his hands and knees, he jerked his arm to shake her loose and follow his friend into the forest, but she wouldn’t let go.
Pain bloomed sharp and bright in his ribs as a booted foot slammed into him—once, twice—and he fell. The boot kept coming. He curled up, protecting his vulnerable areas, but his assailant still landed several blows to his head and back.
“Enough!” Amy’s voice rang out, and the assault ended. Jake spit blood from his mouth and struggled to catch his breath. The dizziness in his head and the stabbing ache in his side told him getting to his feet might be harder than it was a few minutes ago.
Definitely broke a rib or two, he thought, tonguing his split lip and rapidly cataloging the pain in the rest of his body.
“How many do we still have?” Amy shouted to someone nearby.
“Ten got away,” a woman said. “With this one,” Jake assumed she was pointing at him, “we still have twenty-seven men, along with some traitorous women and children too.”
“Is there a tall man, black hair, green eyes, very good-looking, among those we recaptured?” Amy asked, describing Bret to a tee.
“No.”
“That sappy, pretty-boy son of a bitch,” Amy swore, undoubtedly meaning Bret. “I should’ve known he’d try something like that.” She cursed again.
“You know their hiding places now,” the other woman said. “We’ll catch them and their friends too.”
Jake and Bret had come across Amy by accident—or so they had thought at the time—almost seven months before as they traveled the mountains, hunting for food. She’d been hungry and in need of aid. Unsurprisingly, she took an immediate interest in Bret. Although he had a mistrusting nature, she spared little time wrapping his love-starved heart around her finger. Jake had never liked her and the two friends argued about her more than once, but despite his misgivings about Amy, Jake refused to alienate his boyhood friend. Yet as a result of her relationship with Bret, she now knew the location of most of their woodland hiding places.
“That’s true,” Amy replied to the other woman’s comment. She tapped her chin with her index finger as if considering, and then she glanced down at Jake.
He had lain very still during their interaction, hoping against hope they might forget about him.
No such luck.
“And you,” she said coming toward him. “You—”
He didn’t give her a chance to finish; he had a fairly good idea of what came next. Instead, he ignored his dizziness and the pain in his chest as he surged to his feet, pushed her aside, and ran for the trees. He’d made it six feet when he heard a crack behind him. Then something hard and thin snapped around his neck and yanked him backward. He saw stars as his head and back slammed to the ground, sending a new wave of misery through his abused body. He groaned, trying to place what just happened, and then Amy was leaning over him.
She jammed her knee into his chest, and pain shot through his damaged ribs. He lifted his arms to shove her away, but the leathery rope wrapped around his neck yanked at him again, choking off his air. Desperate, needing to get her off him, needing to breathe, he tugged at the cord strangling him. His eyes widened as Amy grabbed him by the hair and tilted his head back to expose his throat. He reached for her again, but the minute the edge of her knife grazed his flesh, his arms collapsed to the ground and he froze.
The binding around his neck loosened and fell away as Amy glared into his face. Blessed air came freely, but the simple act of breathing caused his ribs to twinge more.
With the suffocating rope gone, his hands automatically lifted off the ground to defend himself. Amy’s knife cut a tiny fraction deeper. Blood tickled his neck as the warm liquid trickled over his cool skin, and he froze once more, afraid to even breathe.
“Uh-uh,” Amy warned as she increased the pressure slightly, widening the gash a bit more and digging the point of her blade into his Adam’s apple.
His mouth went dry. Is she going to slit my throat?
“Looks like Bret didn’t value your friendship as much as you thought, huh, Jake?” Amy said with a nasty smile, her dark brown eyes glittering down at him. Jake cringed inwardly. He knew that wasn’t the case. In the chaos, Bret probably hadn’t even realized Jake had been captured, and wouldn’t until he failed to show at their rendezvous point. But her implication twisted at his guts nonetheless.
A second woman stepped up behind Amy, coiling the long black length of a bullwhip in her hand.
So, that’s what was strangling me…I should’ve known.
“You fucked up my plans, Jake, just as much as your damned friend,” Amy hissed at him when he didn’t respond to her earlier comment. “If it weren’t for you, he’d be mine and you’d both make me rich. Now, I have to settle for you and those other losers we caught today.”
“What’re—you going—to do with me?” He stifled a groan for his halting speech and glared daggers at the woman hovering over him.
“Oh, I think you know what we do with captured men,” Amy chuckled. She tilted her head, and a strand of her amber-blonde hair fell into her face as her eyes raked over him.
“You know, Jake,” she said reflectively, “you’re a good-looking guy. If Bret hadn’t been around, you would’ve been my target. It’s only next to a man like him that you’d seem second best. But then, you were always suspicious of me, weren’t you? Maybe once you’ve been trained, I’ll pay you another visit.”
He clamped his jaws tight and didn’t respond, but his mind was in overdrive. He wanted to fight, but moving meant death. He didn’t want to know what it was like to bleed to death from a severed artery. Instead, he scowled all the more. If he wanted to live, it was all he could do.
The woman beside Amy crouched down, but he couldn’t see what she was doing. The next thing he knew, he jumped as a needle jammed into his hip and something injected into his body.
Ah, shit… He knew what that was; he’d heard dozens of stories about it but luckily had never had to deal with the drug, until now.
It started working almost instantaneously, driving up his anxiety level, making him shake and cringe. A few seconds passed, while Amy’s gaze bore into his, and the effect of the chemical doubled.
Oh, God, this is worse than I thought it would be. He had never felt so weak and vulnerable in his life.
“Now,” Amy said as she removed the blade from his throat and stood. She tucked the knife in her boot and then plopped her rear down on his chest, knowing he would be too terrified, thanks to the drug, to do anything to save himself. “What shall I do with you?” She ran a finger down the side of his face.
He flinched away.
You could let me go, he thought and tried to force out the sarcastic remark, but the substance surging through him wouldn’t allow it.
“I think you deserve a particularly horrible punishment for always interfering in my plans with Bret,” she said, answering her own question while tapping his bearded chin with one finger. The slight contact amped up his anxiety, and he shivered. “He may have listened to you complain about me, but he loved me.” Her derisive tone told him what she thought about that. “He would’ve never turned me out the way you kept telling him to do. And now, you’ve ruined my chance to have him how I always wanted him: in chains. So, how shall I make you pay for all of it?”
Jake’s body shook with fear, both real and chemically induced. Amy was far more lethal than he had once thought.
“I know just the place you should go,” she continued with a bright smile, as if she’d come up with a brilliant idea. “I have an acquaintance near here, a woman who’s exceptionally adept at training men to be perfect little slaves. I’ll bet she’d jump at the chance to make you a willing breeder. You’ll make her a lot of money. Once she pays me a high price for you that is.”
“P-Please…” Jake pleaded involuntarily, the drug wreaking havoc with his willpower. No matter how much he wanted to resist begging, he couldn’t stop now that he had started. “P-Please…” he muttered again, his voice shaking while fighting the drug—and losing. “Let me go…”
Amy laughed.
“Darla’s going to tear you to pieces, Jake,” she told him, her sinister smile sending waves of dread prickling up and down his spine. “A little bit at a time, she’ll peel away your pride—”

About the Author:
Jamie Schulz lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family, her husband, and their fur babies. Writing has always been a big a part of her life.
Cowboys, ice cream, and reading almost any kind of romance are among her (not so) secret loves. To her, every one of her stories, no matter how dark, must have a happy ending, and she strives to make them impossible to put down until you get there. 
She balances her free time between reading her favorite romance authors—in genres ranging from erotica and dark romance to sweet historicals and contemporary romance—and spending time with her family.
Her debut novel, Jake’s Redemption, was released in February 2019 and is available for sale on Amazon.
Readers can connect with Jamie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to http://www.jamieschulzauthor.com/

 

Solving Cadence Moore by Gregory Sterner

solving cadence moore
Solving Cadence Moore is a suspenseful hometown Mystery / Crime Thriller novel by Gregory Sterner.
“A deftly crafted and compelling read from cover to cover … an extraordinary and unfailingly engaging read by a novelist with a genuine flair for narrative driven fiction and one that is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections.” Midwest Book Review

Synopsis:
How much will one man risk to solve the unsolvable?
Ten years ago, famous young singer Cadence Moore disappeared without a trace on a remote highway in western Pennsylvania. To this day her fate remains unknown. Was she kidnapped or murdered? Or did she simply run away in search of a new life, leaving behind the abuse and heartbreak that haunted her?
Charlie Marx, host of the popular conspiracy radio show “Underground Broadcast,” is obsessed with Cadence. Desperate to find her after deceiving his boss to save his job, he launches an investigation of his own, digging deep into the missing woman’s past and uncovering her darkest secrets. Working feverishly for weeks, he claims to have solved the mystery and promises to reveal Cadence’s fate at the end of a groundbreaking podcast series and live radio special.
But is it all a lie? As years of twisted details slowly unravel, Charlie races to solve the biggest mystery of the decade. If he succeeds, it will mean closure for Cadence. If he fails, his entire world will come crashing down live on air—and the truth may be lost forever.

Excerpt from Solving Cadence Moore:
Chapter 1 – The Pitch
Charlie Marx sat with his arms crossed, refusing to visually sell his reaction to the sales pitch he was getting. As a successful conspiracy radio show host, Charlie had learned to trust nothing but consider everything, qualities which had made him very effective throughout his career.
His boss (as well as his mentor and friend), Tyler Reubens, had been in the public radio game for fifteen years, becoming a national celebrity by hosting a hugely successful syndicated show covering everything from intimate personal stories to murder mysteries called United Way of Life. Tyler, while still sitting at the helm of United Way of Life, was also now a big player at the executive level as a senior producer for WHHW (his home station) and programming liaison to UPR (the public radio juggernaut of which WHHW was an affiliate).
Tyler’s superiors were looking for on-demand content for various multimedia outlets (a trend the entire entertainment world had already been moving strongly toward for five years and public radio had been one of the first to plant a flag in podcast land, but had never had a smash hit). Tyler was reaching out to the one person who in his mind had the one show he was almost positive would connect with a large audience for the podcast mini-series UPR was prepared to push to the moon (or so went Tyler’s initial sales pitch).
The one man with the one show also happened to be a personal protégé of Tyler Reubens himself, Charlie Marx. Charlie was a former college DJ and conspiracy newsletter writer. Tyler had plucked him from obscurity and offered him an assistant producer job for United Way of Life, simply because he liked his work and was impressed by the buzz Charlie had managed to drum up for his conspiracy rag. Charlie produced a few conspiracy oriented segments for United Way of Life during anniversary years of the Kennedy Assassination and the Apollo Moon Landing. These segments had garnered such positive reviews that Tyler lobbied for Marx to be granted his own time slot on WHHW with a conspiracy-themed show called Underground Broadcast. Underground Broadcast eventually became one of the most popular programs on WHHW and had been considered at least on two occasions for national syndication over UPR stations, although that had never actually come to fruition.
All of that had taken place three years before and now Tyler wanted Charlie to captain a new vessel, one which would sail into the on-demand islands and, if all went as planned, land Tyler a fat new contract when his re-up period went into effect a few months later.
Tyler knew Charlie wouldn’t argue with him or refuse the offer. But at the same time, he’d been around a long time and he knew how to get what he wanted. You could force a man to walk the plank at the point of a sword or you could gently take his hand and lead him there. You could train a soldier to take orders or you could gain his respect and have him willing to die for you on the battlefield out of loyalty alone. Tyler knew good sales pitches needed emotional buy in. He had to sell the concept, sell the logic of the concept, and sell the benefit of the concept.
Tyler was very good at this approach and he knew Charlie was stone facing him across the desk, trying not to show any cards at all. Tyler liked that. He’d trained this man well. But just because he taught Charlie everything Charlie knew, that didn’t mean he’d taught him everything Tyler Reubens knew.
Tyler looked straight ahead and leaned forward, his smile never wavering. He said, “Charlie, this is an opportunity. Now before you say anything else, rest assured… I read your email. I understand you think this case is a bottomless pit. But listen buddy, your credibility and your show’s credibility is not at risk here. It’s all in how we play it. I’ve been doing this a lot longer than you my friend and the story is what it’s all about. If the story is there, the ending is inconsequential… if not completely, then at least secondary to the journey. Even if this thing is the ultimate cold case… even if we’re barking up a dying tree, if we carve out the right story we will succeed. We will accomplish what I’ve promised my bosses we can accomplish.
“I stuck my neck way out for you guys. For me too… I’m not trying to bullshit you. But I did that because I believe in you and I think your show is going to be the one that breaks through. They could have had Artie Rothstein do a podcast, they could have had Barry Shearing do a podcast, hell… half of the national guys already have podcasts, but this isn’t just a podcast Charlie… it’s a series and it’s a live radio special to conclude it. UPR’s never done anything like this before.
“The big bosses aren’t sold on it either, you can bet your last long dollar on that one. I’ve had to tread very lightly every time I’ve pushed an angle on it. At this point, every UPR show which also airs as a podcast has been barely a mild success as far as downloads go. The bigwigs have no reason to think a special is going to be any different. But these guys are fossils Marx. They haven’t seen the trend that’s been creeping up on their asses for half a decade now. But I see it. I know you see it, too. You’ve been water coolering the podcast angle for at least a year… I hear everything my friend.”
Charlie continued to sit with a stoic expression on his face, nodding every few moments and sitting slightly forward to express that he was paying attention. But he did not facially sell a single word of this. Not yet. He loved the idea, he loved the potential, but he hated the case. He’d personally been obsessed with Cadence Moore for years but he didn’t think there was anything he could do with it that hadn’t already been done and he feared this program would be a disaster and a letdown if they went in the Cadence direction.
Tyler kept rolling, “So, of course you know the reason none of them have been runaway hits as podcasts is because ninety percent of the fucking audience listens on the radio. Listeners are creatures of habit, we all know that. They might tune into a podcast here and there if they’re at the gym or they miss a week but usually when they discover something on the radio, they’re likely to keep listening on the radio. But if we sell it as something new… something different… c’mon Charles, you see where I’m going here.
“And besides all that, the reason I know you and your show are the way to go with this thing is because Rothstein and Shearing… just to name two, their formats won’t work to generate a mass audience of new listeners… I’m confident about that. Shearing’s a commentator… a satirist. Rothstein’s a writer, a sketch guy… a brilliant one sure, I mean they’re both great at what they do, but their shows don’t lend themselves to breaking new ground.
“In your case, I’m confident that your format is exactly what the doctor ordered for this particular story, and I also truly believe people will like the idea of a local radio guy, someone who’s not a national name, breaking into the mainstream with a special about an unsolved case which just recently became hot news again. I’m not talking out my ass here pal, I have good instincts and I know there is a right and wrong way to do this thing. The big bosses aren’t sold, but I guarantee you, once I’m through with them, I can get spots, I can get the air time… we will push this to the moon!”
Tyler noticed the very subtle grin that had permeated Charlie’s face. Charlie hadn’t intended it to be visible but his facial muscles betrayed him. Tyler drove in a little harder, “I’m not fucking around here man, I believe in it! And… I appreciate you guys, I really do Charlie. You’ve brought a damn big audience to WHHW. You guys aren’t a huge deal yet but you’re a big deal. I think this is exactly what is needed to make you bigger… to make you national names. If this works out the way I envision it working out, it could make your career and hammer out a giant hit for us.
“The Cadence case is truly one of the classics… never been solved! It’s a favorite of yours, that’s no secret… and I agree with almost everything I’ve ever heard you say about it. This is one of those deals where once you get into it, you can’t get out. How many of these things, these legendary cases, are actually still floating around without a conclusion?
“Cadence Moore has hooked people from the start and she will hook them again, Charlie. The Moore to the Story film got the public ramped up about wanting to know what happened to that girl. Jesus, half the people who saw the film didn’t agree with the answer those guys came up with. They still want closure and they’ve never gotten it. Those people are the ones I’m counting on to be the new listening audience once we start popping out the podcasts.
“I think, if nothing else, you guys can do a better job than those dicks Barnes and Angstat did with the movie and if you can’t solve anything, you can at least offer something fresh. Your mission, your crew’s mission, is to get this as close to solved as possible so when the finale airs people believe the answer is coming. Close is the operative word here Charlie. You have to run a completely different angle than the film ran. And if the real answer doesn’t come, which, let’s be honest, we both know it won’t… people need to feel like they got something… something better than they got with that shitty movie.”
Charlie Marx knew where his bread was buttered and he respected Tyler Reubens more than he respected just about any man in the world. This man was his boss but also the person who’d given him his one and only break in professional life, but Charlie was diametrically opposed to Tyler’s take on this particular program.
He felt if they tackled Cadence, they’d wind up with nothing. There were reasons a case stayed cold for a decade. They’d hit brick walls and the whole thing would be considered a grand failure that would damage Charlie’s credibility and cost him a good portion of his dedicated listeners (If only he knew the position he’d be in in a few weeks, losing a few listeners would have seemed like a pleasant dream). Charlie had things to say but dutifully waited until he knew it was his turn to talk. Once he was sure Tyler was finished, he began his own pitch.
He responded honestly, “So, if I understand correctly, you’re telling me Tyler… even if we don’t solve it… which as you said, we won’t… this thing will be produced like one of your United Way of Life stories… no matter what the ending, the audience will stick with us if they think something is coming?”
Tyler smiled a little bit wider, knowing his pitch had just been caught. He said, “Precisely! You got the picture Marx. I knew you would, that is why we’re talking right now.”
Charlie continued, “Okay then. So, when the thing everyone thinks is coming doesn’t come, this is my concern. I have never lied to my audience, Tyler. When we haven’t been able to deliver an answer to a mystery or a theory, I’ve always told them that up front and usually why the thing will never be answered. When something is a bottomless pit, which I’ve told you Cadence Moore is, I tell my listeners it’s a bottomless pit so they know what they’re getting.
“Credibility for us is life blood and if we lose it on this podcast series experiment, we lose it for the radio, too. I’m just trying to make you understand the biggest reason why your short-term goal may not be worth the long-term consequences. What makes you so sure when they realize they’ve been hoodwinked like a gang of sorry chumps, they won’t say fuck you to us, fuck you to WHHW, and fuck you to UPR?”
Tyler considered this sincerely. The time between Charlie’s question and Tyler’s response was a solid thirty seconds, which in the room and in the moment felt like an hour. Tyler finally said, “Because… fuck… because, Marx. Because I believe in you and I know we can do this. For Christ’s sake, Charlie, this shit is the difference between the men and boys. We take a risk, we make history, we grab a big audience, and we get a chance to do much bigger things on much bigger stages on much bigger days! That’s what we do! That’s what people who are successful do! So, let’s stop being pussies and just fucking do it!”
Charlie had to be careful how he proceeded. Tyler was a friend but he also held the strings, the marionette strings as well as the purse strings. Charlie said, “Tyler, I hear you… every word. But I need you to hear me too right now. I am not questioning your judgment… I’m just questioning your approach. What if we looked at some alternatives? You want an unsolved case?
I’ve got plenty… and those plenty have lots of loose leads dangling that me and my team could sink our teeth into and actually solve. It damn sure wouldn’t be the first time.”
Tyler would indulge him for a moment, even though in his mind it was going to go down his way and this special was Cadence or nothing. When Tyler was set on something, that something was going to happen. He said, “Okay, Charlie, tell me what unsolved cases you have in mind.”
Charlie let out a sigh of relief and smiled slightly. He was about to start talking when Tyler held up a finger. Tyler added, “Oh… but before you do that, my time is short and so is yours, so, I hate to waste any of it for either of us. As you list off these unsolved cases, make sure you only mention the ones that a massively successful film has recently been made about. That way, I can make sure the attention we need for our special will be the same whether we focus on Cadence or not.”
Charlie visibly sank in his chair. He said, “Tyler, you know I can’t do that. Nothing I’d be able to solve in time for a podcast series is going to have the national prominence of Cadence Moore. But, you said it yourself; Barnes and Angstat fucked up the movie and didn’t solve anything. Do you want us painted with the same stain those two idiots are currently being painted with?”
Tyler smiled. He said, “Charlie, they can stain me any color they want as long as the eventual color it all turns into is green. Barnes and Angstat may be a couple of jerks but they’re rich jerks, Marx, and they’re jerks who currently have a bigger audience for their product than either of us have for ours. So, if you’re gonna sit there and tell me it’s a better idea to dig up Katie Marsh or Herman Jackson (two missing children whose parents had alleged ties to occult activity in New Mexico), then be prepared to tell me how we’re going to monetize that. If you want to sell me on another conspiracy theory… like a podcast about deadly vaccines or a podcast about mass shootings being orchestrated by the government to create a police state… well again pal… tell me how we turn the crap into cash. If you can’t do that Charlie… then stop wasting my time and let’s get back to talking about how you’re gonna produce the Cadence Moore special.”
Tyler was studying Charlie’s face and knew he had nothing to say. Tyler had simultaneously stumped him and sold him, using cold hard logic as his weapon. He could now reel him back in a little and get some more buy in. He said, “Look Marx, I’m not trying to be a douche. But, you have to check the naiveté at the door if you want to be part of something this potentially big. It needs to be a hit, Charlie. It needs to connect with an audience. If you want to stay true to your art form and die with every shred of your credibility intact, then that’s fine. But if you make that decision, you’re not going to make this journey with me, and WHHW is as high as Underground Broadcast is ever gonna get. I’m not threatening and I’m not bullshitting. I’m being honest. It’s Cadence or bust pal… Cadence… or… bust. You got it?”
What could Charlie possibly say? He had his marching orders and he had to move ahead. He didn’t like it at all and he thought it would fail, but as someone who understood loyalty as well as logic, Charlie wasn’t going to say no to Tyler Reubens. He owed this man his career and if Tyler wanted to take a huge risk and was asking Charlie to climb aboard, he had no choice but to go along. He shook his head and said, “You’re the boss, boss. Lets fucking do it then. I’ve said what I had to say and you said what you had to say. At the end of the day, you sign the checks and you gave me my name… I won’t say no, even if I think it’s a terrible idea. If we both lose our shit on this, you’ll owe me a shot… every night… for eternity.”
Charlie really didn’t like it. He really didn’t like it at all. He knew the odds of solving the Cadence case were next to impossible and his credibility was definitely on the line. (If Charlie only knew in this moment how severely he was about to risk his own credibility and his career, he likely would have choked).
Tyler slapped him on the shoulder and said, “Shots, every night forever… you got it Marx. But I have a feeling, you’ll be the one buying drinks when all of this is over. I wouldn’t lead you to the cliffs, Charlie… I’m leading you to the tippy top. Believe that!”
Charlie didn’t respond. He just extended his hand and sealed the deal. What the hell had he just agreed to?
UNDERGROUND PODCAST 1: (Official Transcript) Intro
Charlie Marx’s Underground Podcast: Episode 1 (Intro). Original Drop Date: November 1, 2013. (Brought to you by United Way of Life, courtesy of Tyler Reubens, this program is funded and sponsored by WHHW, a subsidiary of Universal Public Radio)
(Narration by Charlie Marx) Welcome friends to the Underground Podcast. I am your host, Charlie Marx. The late-night hour is upon us weary travelers. Mysteries abound and the truth alarms sound… bringing out the seekers in every single town. Rest easy good friends… you have reached the final end… of your desired destination.
This is the place where we lift the curtain of accepted reality, and look deeper… down into the depths of the stories that permeate our consciousness. Yes, weary travelers, you can now take a rest, put your feet up, and plug in your minds. The investigation has begun, and it’s gonna be damn good fun!
This series is the most important program in the history of our show which you have up until now known as Underground Broadcast, but here we are now… arriving up to date with the rest of society, and we find ourselves in podcast world. This podcast tonight is in fact the most important program of my career. Those of you just stumbling across this by accident may be asking yourselves why that is.
Well travelers, we will begin our quest to answer one of the most perplexing and legendary unsolved riddles in the annals of modern crime. We will finally dig up the answer to the question that has haunted the masses for years.
We will reveal the specifics of how one Cadence Moore, a beautiful young college circuit-singing sensation, just on the brink it seemed, of breaking out into mainstream American mega stardom, on one tragic night just disappeared without a trace, never to be seen or heard from again.
Seekers of knowledge, sailors of the dark information seas, my listeners one and all, that all comes to an end. During this series, we will definitively answer the question: Whatever happened to young Cadence Moore? Legally, I must state a disclaimer, so I will state it now. Anyone listening to this should be of legal age and younger downloaders may find the violent subject matter, mature content, and strong language of this program offensive. We will be running on a several second delay during our live special and the worst language will be edited, but the podcasts will air in their entirety. You have been warned.
Okay, then… with our disclaimer out of the way, let’s get started. Like any momentous occasion, the theme of our show tonight must fit within the appropriate boundaries of weight and substance, and truly be worthy of discussion on our biggest program. What better subject to focus on than a story which has never offered a satisfying conclusion… a true mystery of our time?
The Cadence Moore story captivated mass audiences when it first came to national prominence on the weekend of Cinco de Mayo in 2002, and recently the story was plastered right back onto the speeding wind- screen of the world with the release of a fascinating, albeit flawed, documentary made by a Mr. Barnes and a Mr. Angstat, who will both be heard from during this series.
But, in spite of all the media coverage and a movie about this case, there has still never been a true end-of-the-story answer to all the speculation, evidence, and shreds of footage.
Todd Barnes and Michael Angstat tried during the making of their film to come up with indisputable proof that they’d found their man, but they failed. Some may disagree with that statement and to those people I will say this. Their film, which is highly entertaining, never accomplishes its true goal of solving the case. It simply succeeds in publicly accusing one man and presenting sensational images to support that accusation.
So, it is that we find ourselves here, with four podcasts and a live radio special to burn, in which we will pick up every clue, film strip, blood trail, and eyewitness statement, turn them all sideways, and see what no one has ever been able to see before.
When it’s over, I want you all to leave this series feeling like pioneers who finally came upon the smell of golden roses on the cliffs of El Dorado with enough sense left in your minds to call this a mystery solved.
With those words my good men and women, we begin our descent, down into the depths of pure adventure, skulking through caves and digging out trenches, to arrive on the other side with provable findings, and some real facts about the greatest mystery we’ve ever seen since Dallas in ’63. We shall answer the question… and arrive on the knowledge shore with glistening waves, pounding and pure, and we will know where it ends, and open the door to see what indeed ever happened to young Cadence Moore.

About the Author:
Gregory Sterner is inspired by the great storytelling presentations of National Public Radio, including This American Life and Wiretap, as well as novels by Stephen King, Elmore Leonard, and many others. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Albright College and is currently completing his Master’s in Philosophy at West Chester University while working as a supervisor for Penske Truck Leasing. He lives with his wife Abigail in Reading, Pennsylvania, and has four children: Jordan, Austin, Alexis, and Jack. His debut novel Solving Cadence Moore was released on November 7th, 2017. It is available for sale on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers. Readers can connect with Gregory on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook,and Goodreads. To learn more, go to http://www.aperturepress.net/books/solving-cadence-moore/